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Riverdale creator apologises after criticism from Vanessa Morgan

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said they must do better to honour black characters.

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A scene from Riverdale (Katie Yu/The CW /Netflix)

A scene from Riverdale (Katie Yu/The CW /Netflix)

A scene from Riverdale (Katie Yu/The CW /Netflix)

The creator of Riverdale has pledged to “do better” after criticism from star Vanessa Morgan over how black characters are portrayed.

The actress, who plays Toni Topaz in the hit show, said she was “tired” of black characters being shown as “thugs, dangerous or angry, scary people” or being “sidekick non-dimensional characters to white leads”.

After her fans criticised some of her co-stars, she tweeted: “My role on Riverdale has nothing to do with my fellow castmates/friends. They don’t write the show. So no need to attack them, they don’t call the shots & I know they have my back.”

She continued: “To my black fans, I have now made it my purpose to fight for us. To the six year old me who had no role model that looked like me on TV. This is for you. We aren’t your token black non dimensional characters. This is being black in Hollywood. I will fight for YOU

“And I will no longer take roles that don’t properly represent us. PERIOD.”

Writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa apologised to Morgan in a statement on Twitter, writing: “We hear Vanessa. We love Vanessa. She’s right. We’re sorry and we make the same promise to you that we did to her.

“We will do better to honour her and the character she plays. As well as all of our actors and characters of colour.

“Change is happening and will continue to happen. Riverdale will get bigger, not smaller. Riverdale will be part of the movement, not outside it.

“All of the Riverdale writers have made a donation to @BLMLA, but we know where the work must happen for us. In the writers’s room.”

PA Media